By some stroke of luck, Barry and I actually had like 9 days off… Together! For the past week or so, we had been working opposite schedules so we wanted to take advantage of the vacation.
The Philadelphia Zoo
Monday, July 15, we began the week with some monkeying around. Seriously, I love the primates at the zoo! We arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo around 11am or so to begin our wickedly humid day. I felt like I was 5 again! The entire drive to zoo, I was singing, “We’re going to the zoo! We’re going to the zoo!”
Barry was starting to get a bit hungry, so we made a pit stop to the nearest kiosk and he ordered chicken finger n fries. I love this picture, mid-chew!
Yeah, Barry, it is hot! Right out of the fryer! Barry and I both have little things that get us oddly enthused, especially when it comes to food. So when he saw the blend-your-own-ICEE wall, he needed to get one!
Tuesday began around 9am, with the Dunkin Donut breakfast sandwich for Barry. We spent the next 2 hours driving until we reached my favorite place in the world: Seaside Heights. I love being able to share this place with others. Although the hurricane wiped out all the rides, just being there and walking the boardwalk was a nice time!
I introduced him to Kohrs Bros. Orange Cream, with jimmies, or course.
Last week, I mentioned that place that fries everything so Barry got deep fried Reeses, and a deep fried cannoli to appease me. Not impressed….
He was reunited with Sawmill Pizza! MMMMM Buffalo chicken pizza and a beer! And I took him to few of my favorite games, like Shoot the Geek (its a paintball game that dad and I are obsessed with), the old carousel, and a few super ancient games, like Bimbo. And lastly, delving into his sweet tooth a bit more, I introduced him to Berkeley’s fudge!
Thursday, begin in my house with one of my favorite shakes: White Chocolate Pear, inspired by Harry and David’s Chocolate covered pear collection. I made dad and Frank shakes, too.
Rather than going back to Valanni as planned, I suggested we stay home, to save money (and calories), and cook. To stick with the Valanni theme, I tried my hands at those delicious Brussels sprouts! I found a recipe for Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprout and Toasted Walnuts and used that as my base.
After buying a pound of fresh brussel sprouts and cutting them into quarters, I sprinkled black pepper, a touch of salt and granulated garlic, and 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar over them, shook them up, and let them sit. Meanwhile, I chopped 2 Tbsp of slivered almonds, and finely diced half a large granny smith apple. (The other half found its way into my tummy.)
I sprayed a baking sheet with non stick spray, emptied the sprouts on it and baked them uncovered for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally, at 375 F. Sprinkle the chopped almonds over top and bake for another 5 minutes. Removed from the oven and toss with the apple.
While these were baking, I marinated some chicken breast in Annie’s Hot Chipotle BBQ Sauce and threw them on the grill.
Although the sprouts weren’t like the ones at the restaurant, I still enjoyed them. I, did, however, learn a few things in the process of making these:
- fresh brussel sprouts take much longer to roast than frozen ones
- Valanni must dowse the sprouts in balsamic vinegar, because the sprouts that were well coated tasted the closest to the originals
- try and try again… Since I know I’m on the right track, it only gives me more incentive to try to get this down!
Every night for the past week, Barry and I have watched a Harry Potter movie. Needless to say, when Barry found this shirt at the zoo, I just couldn’t stop laughing!
I also truly love this glass! It took everything in me not to buy it! If you have to, click on the picture to enlarge it. Its hilarious!
To finish off Date Week, we watch Deathly Hollows Part 2, and each enjoyed a bowl of Edy’s Slow Churned Caramel Praline Crunch Yogurt Blend, topped with jimmies! We’ve been having a debate, since Seaside, as to call them sprinkles or jimmies…. Its okay, I know the truth… Jimmies (wink).